Monday, February 06, 2006

After the radio interview on 938LIVE

Phew. Interview over. Lasted for less than 3mins.

Woke at 6.45am (thanks to three alarm clocks, I kid you not!) Took the call at home since the office wasn't open this early. Around 7.22am the radio DJ still hadn't called me and I got nervous. Did I give them the right number to call? Maybe they decided to drop me from the programme. At about 7.25am, my phone rang and the DJ put me on hold where I caught part of the interview with the NUS student.

Then I heard this: "... we have here Mr. Ivan Chew, Manager and Head of the
Adult & Young People's Services. He's here to tell us more about some recommended books. So Ivan, what have you got for us?"

And I was on air, just like that. No chit-chat. No verbal warmups.

I can never get 100% used to 'Live' interviews via phone. It's a bit weird because there's no visual cues that you're next to speak. And when speaking, I wasn't sure if anyone's listening since I'm just prattling off into the phone.

Luckily I was prepared for this. I had the computer turned on with the High Browse Online page (posted yesterday evening) in front of me. That helped in my delivery somewhat. Still, I wasn't sure how I sounded. I tell you, not anyone can be a radio DJ.

There was no time to recommend everything that was listed. I mentioned the two books by David Lim (that part was OK, I felt) and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (somehow I thought I could've done better for that part).

Then the DJ asked, "Do you have anything else you'd like to recommend?" and I had this strange thought, "Why? You don't like what I've recommended so far?" :)

But really, it's the lack of visual cues. I didn't know if what I mentioned was OK or not.

So I recommended "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand. Something made me become a bit more open when I shared that one. Maybe I thought I was losing the listeners. I said I watched the movie first on a plane (before I read the book), and tears came to my eyes after I watched it. Told the DJ, "Oops, I just said that on national radio" and they laughed. The lady DJ said, "Oh, don't be afraid to cry". Glad I shared that one.

So now they, and you, know -- this Librarian cried after watching Seabiscuit. : )



  1. Sounds like a perfectly fine way of doing the interview Ivan. You sounded natural and unrehearsed, which is definitely better than a "read from the script" interviewee.

    From my experience in being interviewed (TV, radio, live shows and in Mandarin too *shudder*), the trick is to appear calm and relaxed yet enthused about your subject matter.

    Passion and wit helps to keep audiences interested in listening or watching you.

    Of course if you look attractive and sound sexy, that will be an even bigger plus point.....

  2. Thanks! I can't do much about the attractive and sexy part but the clam and relaxed is worth a shot.

  3. Cool Insider is right about unrehearsed answers sounding better, usually when I do interviews for TV, I make some small talk beforehand to warm up the interviewee.

    But then again, I have the benefit of being able to go back and edit, so can still be incoherent and still make sense.

    I've also done phone interviews, and it's kind of nerve-wracking waiting for the sudden call, as opposed to watching tv crew set up first and letting the nerves settle.

    So sure kancheong one lah, just be yourself is the best. The best interviews are always the ones where it sounds more like a chat between friends than some stiff back and forth between strangers.


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